So you've got to keep yourself hip deep in projects--or at least I do. I mean, I'm a teacher; that's my day job. But I like to keep thinking ahead of the next major undertaking, so that when what's set out before me, writing-wise, is finally getting a wrap, I'm not going to be out of a job.
I've been reading Proverbs with my early morning writing class this year--a last minute choice, really--and have half-fallen in love with the book, thinking that, if I had more time, it would be good for me to take on some of the little gems that sparkle though the pages. Like this, from chapter four: Solomon says to avoid the wicked (surprise, surprise) for "they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall." Really? Is sin is a kind of compulsion? For the sinner in me too? Maybe so. Let me think about that awhile.
That kind of thing.
Now, years ago--almost 20, I think--I wrote a book of meditations on Proverbs, a little devotional for budding adolescents somewhere around the 8th grade level. I remember the title, catchy--Take it from a Wise Guy. I didn't write the title--that I remember too.
So I'm thinking maybe it's time for me to work on another little book of meditations. They're good for the soul, certainly better therapy than writing novels, a job I'd actually prefer, but a job that inevitably drags me through muck.
Proverbs, I'm thinking. Interesting. Maybe I ought to check out that old book of mine.
I can't find it. Anywhere. Not even in the cache of books I keep upstairs for my son. Not in my shelves, not in his. Nowhere. I don't have a single copy of a book I wrote myself.
Thank goodness for Amazon. I go on-line and find a couple, order the cheapest one, used. It costs me a couple of pennies maybe, and $4 for postage, and the note says it's a library copy, which means it got tossed from the shelves when it didn't get read. Sad. But, hey, at least I can still get one.
It arrived yesterday, a library copy all right that got yanked so efficiently that (surprise, surprise) it somehow meandered back, serendipitously, into the very hands of the guy that wrote it.
A church library. I'm not kidding, and I'm certainly not mad; good folks, after all, have to clean house, librarians included. Oddly enough, the church that tossed the book just happens to be one of my favorites, out in the middle of South Dakota, a place I've been often, in heart of Great Plains country I love.
Honestly, I'm not mad. I'm laughing. I swear, I'm laughing when I see the stamp of that little church out on the plains, a place where I've got good friends. I'm giggling because some fastidious librarian, doing her best, could never ever have guessed or even imagined that a little book of meditations for kids, a book that didn't get read, if tossed, dutifully, could ever possibly end up back in the hands of the guy who wrote it, stamped as it is with the tell-tail permanence of her library's own imprimatur.
I'm not the first to say it, but if the Lord almighty doesn't have a sense of humor, then, as Shakespeare says, I've never once written a word.
Take it from a wise guy.